Campania Pizza Stretches The Delivery Range
Campania delivers: Here lies the loneliest salami
3500 McKinney Ave, Suite 150
Promised delivery time: 45-60 minutes
Actual delivery time: 38 minutes
Going the extra half-mile, outside the usual delivery range: 20
Still beating the promised delivery time: 20
Pizza temperature: "warmish" 11
Irregular pizza assembly (slicing, topping placement): 14
Bonus: A quality pie in the original BYOB setting: 20
Though I've only eaten at the West Village's Campania Pizza once, I've taken in its smells more times than I'd like to admit. Its patio tables sit right next door to my go-to fro-yo spot, so when the yogurt break happens to hit during dinner time on a sunny afternoon, it doesn't matter how you dress up the yogurt -- you'll walk away smelling like meat and cheese.
One of Campania's quirks is that it's BYOB, lending the sidewalk traffic on the corner of McKinney and Blackburn a rare mix of scene-savvy Uptowners brown-bagging it next to spandex-wrapped women treating themselves to post-workout
cupcakes from Dimples and high school kids waiting for the bus.
With a Mavericks (near-)miracle unfolding on TV last night, though, I passed on all that and opted for the original BYOB arrangement: couch, TV, pizza and beer. My place in Deep Ellum was well out of Campania's Uptown wheelhouse, but a call earlier in the afternoon confirmed they were up to the delivery challenge.
The Yelp-verse has been particularly tough on Campania's delivery performance, with a few reviews calling it "uneven," calling them out for late and/or cold delivery. I've seen, between bites of yogurt, how busy this place gets, and honestly I was surprised to see Campania delivers at all. Given the extra quality of their pies, I was just looking forward to watching the game with pizza that wasn't from a hut.
Campania's not a late-night delivery place -- they cut off door-to-door service at 9:30. I phoned in my order during the peak of the dinner rush, and the call went smoothly in spite of the noise. At the far end of Deep Ellum, towards Expo Park, I wasn't technically in their delivery range, but I was told they'd make an exception since it wasn't too busy that night.
I was promised a wait of 45 minutes to an hour, but it was less than 40 minutes later that my phone rang -- delivery guy was in my hallway already, asking which was my door. Impressive delivery work, given the extra distance.
Since the high school summer when a friend worked nights at a Brazilian pizza place and spent afternoons regaling the rest of us with the dirty Portuguese jokes he'd learned up in the kitchen, I've always been partial to pizza made with mozzarella di bufala, the Brazilian place's specialty. So checking out Campania's takeout/delivery menu online, I settled quickly on the Piemontese, topped with di bufala along with tomato sauce, Genoa salami, mushrooms, basil and olive oil.
Turns out I was looking at the Southlake location's menu, and I'm only now noticing that the West Village location makes the Piemontese with mozzarella fior di latte. I'll confess here I couldn't tell the difference -- the alternative was an equally fine fine cheese. Ignorant of the switch, I was more than buoyed by the Mavs' late-game sputtering as I recalled the best of the Brazilian pizza chefs' yarns.
Hot or not, Campania still beats the chains.
At $16 for a large pizza (less with other toppings), Campania isn't too much more than the big chains, and the ingredients are a huge step up. Too bad their smaller delivery operation isn't outfitted with something like a Heat Wave pizza bag, though, because the pie was less than hot by the time it reached me. Cheese had already taken to sticking to the bottom of the box, and the thin crust had turned floppy.
Of course, I was the one who asked for delivery outside their range, so I couldn't hold too big a grudge. A more patient man might've thrown it into the oven for a quick reheat, but I was happy to give a slice a quick New York sideways fold and play through the lukewarm condition.
Toppings were thrown onto the pizza unevenly and the big slices of salami tended to pull off the pizza all at once -- so tearing into one slice of the pizza meant a single bite of the well-seasoned and very salty pork, with follow-up bites of crust and cheese.
Still. Even with those issues in the execution, the pizza was in another league from the chain delivery options that might have been closer to my place. Even if the pizza came in a few degrees too cool, I was glad Campania was willing to go the extra delivery mile.
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